Talk like a terrorist all the time

NSA Anti-Surveillance Suggestion: ?Operation Everyone Talk Like a Terrorist All the Time?


The comedian Trevor Moore, of Whitest Kids U Know fame, has a video out for Funny or Die styled as a ?public service announcement? about NSA surveillance. Moore is a pessimist, explaining that ?elections are of no use? because the people who run for president are assholes, and instead suggests ?Operation Everyone Talk Like A Terrorist All the Time? to thwart any wiretapping efforts the NSA may be directing. Watch:
Continue reading “Talk like a terrorist all the time”

In Defense of Hezbollah, a ?Terrorist? Organization

We had gone past the iconic shelled out buildings of central Beirut. It was soon obvious we were in Hezbollah territory. My guide and guardian angel Yasmine had told me about how the city was clearly divided, but I hadn’t expected as clear a demarcation as the one I’d seen in Falls Road in Northern Ireland many years ago.

Yasmine, my guide and guardian angel, walking me safely through the streets of Beirut. June 2009. ? Shahidul Alam/Drik/Majority World
Yasmine, my guide and guardian angel, walking me safely through the streets of Beirut. June 2009. ? Shahidul Alam/Drik/Majority World

Continue reading “In Defense of Hezbollah, a ?Terrorist? Organization”

Cleveland anarchist bomb plot aided and abetted by the FBI

Rather than target real risks of domestic terror, like neo-Nazis, the FBI entrapment machine demonises anarchists and Muslims

cleveland five comment

FBI mugshot of Connor Stevens, one of five men arrested earlier this year for plotting to blow up a bridge near Cleveland, Ohio. Photograph: FBI/AP
On 20 November, district court Judge David D Dowd Jr sentenced three anarchists with the Occupy Cleveland movement to prison terms ranging from 8 to 11.5 years for attempting to bomb a highway bridge last spring. US Attorney Steven Dettelbach trumpeted the successful prosecution:

“These defendants were found to have engaged in terrorist activities ? These sentences should send a message that when individuals decide to endanger the safety of our community, they will be held to account.”

Dettelbach, however, was trying to spin the judge’s ruling that, in fact, rebuked the government. Dowd handed down far shorter sentences than the prosecutor sought, reportedly saying that the proposed prison terms were “grotesque” and “doesn’t make any sense whatsoever”. The prosecution had asked for sentences of 30, 25 and 19 years, respectively, for Douglas Wright, 27, Brandon Baxter, 20, and Connor Stevens, 20, in the failed plot to use plastic explosives to topple the Route 82 bridge spanning Ohio‘s Cuyahoga Valley National Park on 30 April 2012. Continue reading “Cleveland anarchist bomb plot aided and abetted by the FBI”

Who gets to define terrorism?

Subscribe to ShahidulNews


By?Ethan Casey

July 26th 2011

My column last week on drone attacks so clearly struck a nerve that I intended to write a follow-up this week, addressing some of the many comments and responses. I did publish an interim statement on my own website, where I invite you to continue that conversation. And the subject is not going away, so I?m sure I?ll be writing about it here again all too soon.
In the meantime, the terrorist attack in Norway brings home once again a very, very important question of our time: Who gets to define terrorism? I?m not sure whether the pen really is mightier than the sword, although I hope it is. What I do know is that a big part of every struggle for power or primacy in human society hinges on the issue of who defines the terms, and that all writing is an attempt to define terms. This means that writing is inherently a political act, and an ability to deploy or control language is essential to human freedom, because language is the repository of meaning.
I don?t want power or primacy, but like anyone I do need to be respected, and I refuse to be bullied. Political bullies use language as a blunt weapon, and the word ?terrorism? is an instance of this. I daresay that over the past decade we?ve all been bludgeoned by the word even more than by the fact of terrorism. And the bullies of the American right wing ? who control the American conversation, thanks to the fecklessness of our spineless president ? would allow the word to be used only in conjunction with the words ?Muslim? or ?Islamic? or (that pernicious neologism) ?Islamist.? If, for example, anyone dares to ask, as I asked in January after the attacks on Salmaan Taseer in Islamabad and Gabrielle Giffords in Arizona, ?Is America Any Different from Pakistan??, he or she will be dismissed thus:
?Yawn yet another typical leftie more than willing to jump on the bandwagon of blaming the right, America, and any other group he/she opposes for the actions of a mentally insane person. Jared Loughner [the would-be assassin of Giffords] appears to have been a psychotic, I suspect a schizophrenic. Please wait for the facts instead [of] falling into your own biases.?
This is a very representative presumption among the bullies of the American right wing: that American extremists like Loughner and Timothy McVeigh are lone crazies, whereas Muslim or Pakistani extremists somehow represent their entire society or religion. And it reinforces my belief that how we speak and write is extremely important, and that not only must we resist letting the bullies define the terms, we must seize the initiative by defining them ourselves. Hence I made a point of referring above to the terrorist attack in Norway, because that?s what it was. The terrorist in this case is a right-wing Christian fundamentalist who apparently wants to ignite a holy war against Muslims, and a terrorist is absolutely what he is. If anyone deserves to languish for years without trial at Guantanamo Bay, he does. (Nobody does, but that?s another column.)
Continue reading “Who gets to define terrorism?”

The Burka Ban – 1

Subscribe to ShahidulNews


Europe’s Open-face Democracy

By Rahnuma Ahmed

France bans full-face veils in public. Women wearing the niqab cannot enter government buildings, public transport, streets and markets. Burkas are not “welcome” on French soil, says Sarkozy. It is a sign of women’s “subservience,” it undermines France’s secular tradition.?The Spanish parliament is debating a proposal. Burkas are hardly compatible with “human dignity,” says the justice minister. Barcelona bans burkas and niqabs from government buildings. They hinder personal identification. Full-face veil banned in Belgium. Streets, gardens, all buildings accessed by members of the public are no-go areas for women wearing the niqab.
It’s now or never, everything on hold till I finish my manuscript, no columns, no calls, no visitors, I thought as I furiously tapped away at the keyboard, barely scanned newspaper headlines, refused to download e-zines and newsletters, felt embarassed at repeatedly telling Zaman (deputy editor, New Age) as he nabbed me on g-chat, rahnuma’pa, how much longer? hmm, maybe a few more weeks?…but still, somehow, news of the burka ban gathering momentum in European countries seeped through, into my self-enforced confinement.
Less than a week after Belgium passed its law, an Italian woman was fined $650 for wearing a burka under a 1975 law, which prohibits people from covering their faces in public. Amsterdam and Utrecht propose cutting social security benefits to unemployed women who wear the burka. A German lawmaker calls for a complete ban on full-face burkas all over Europe.?Veiled women irritate her, she says; she cannot judge them for who they are, what their intentions are. It’s a “massive attack on the rights of women. It is a mobile prison.” Eight out of 16 federal states in Germany have already banned female schoolteachers from wearing the headscarf. If the burka is not banned, threatens the Freedom Party of Netherlands, it’ll not join the minority coalition government. The burqa and the niqab have no place in our society, says the Danish prime minister. Denmark is an “open, democratic society where we look at the person to whom we are talking.”
There is talk of banning the burqa beyond Europe’s borders too, in what were once white-settler colonies, and now, sovereign states. Quebec’s immigration minister says, “If you want to integrate into Quebec society, here are our values. We want to see your face,” as its premier pushes a bill banning any sort of full-face veil. If passed, women will be denied receiving or applying for government services, including non-emergency medicine and day care. An Australian blogger, appreciative of senator Cory Bernardi’s recent call for an Aussie ban on full-face veiling writes, if the burqa and niqab are accepted, if they are normalised and legitimised, what do we teach Australian girls? That they shouldn’t be proud to show their face and have a voice in society? “That women?s rights are [not] inalienable and worth fighting for, except where gender oppression is religiously or culturally endorsed?”
The mind works in curious ways. For some reason I am reminded of Laura Bush and Cherie Blair. Of Mrs Bush’s unprecedented radio broadcast to rally support against the Taliban; she was the first wife of a US president to deliver the whole of the weekly address (November 1, 2001), expressing profound sorrow and deepest sympathies for the women of Afghanistan. “Life under the Taliban is so hard and repressive, even small displays of joy are outlawed?children aren’t allowed to fly kites; their mothers face beatings for laughing out loud. Women cannot work outside the home, or even leave their homes by themselves.” Two days later, the wife of the former British prime minister joined in the commiseration. The Taliban regime, Mrs Blair informed us, is repressive, cruel and joyless. The human rights of women and girls within Afghanistan “have been denied, people have been executed in football stadiums in front of cheering crowds, girls have had to be educated in secret.” Britain needs to “help them free that spirit and give them their voice back, so they can create the better Afghanistan we all want to see.”
Twenty-two months after the US-led invasion there were no signs of an Afghanistan that was less hard and less repressive for its women and children. Linda S Heard wrote, millions of Afghan women and children continue to face major health and nutrition problems with maternal and infant mortality among “the worst in the world.” Gunmen commit human rights abuses and warlords have been “propelled into power by the US and its coalition partners after the Taliban fell in 2001.”
But surely a decade on, the spirits of Afghan women are now free? Girls are now receiving education? A better Afghanistan is being created? Malalai Joya, the youngest Afghan to be elected member of parliament (2005-2007) says, the current situation is a disaster. People suffer from extreme insecurity, many have stopped sending their children to school, especially girls for fear that they might be raped or killed. The most pressing problems are cultivation and trafficking of drugs and narcotics (the opium industry is “solely designed by the US,” its annual production during the Taliban regime was 185 metric tons, it has now magnified to 8,500 tons annually), 50% unemployment and severe poverty which forces some parents to sell their children for $10 for a piece of bread, appalling corruption (the present Afghan government is “the most corrupt in our whole history”), and the installation of war criminals and terrorists into power through fraudulent elections (a “dirty game” played by the US and NATO). Needless to add, Joya is hardly sighted in the mainstream western media.
In some cities women’s conditions have slightly improved since the Taliban regime. But the situation was far better in the 1960s, says Joya, when Afghan women had more rights. Rapes, abductions, murders, violence, and forced marriages are increasing at an alarming rate. Women’s suicide rate is climbing in many provinces. “Afghanistan still faces a women’s rights catastrophe. Every aspect of life in Afghanistan today is tragic.” We are sandwiched between two enemies, the Taliban on one side and the US/NATO forces and their warlord friends on the other. The policy of the US government and its allies is to foster warlords and criminals, to marginalise and put pressure on progressive and democratic movements and individuals “out of fear that the latter will mobilise Afghan people against the occupation forces.”
And who were among America’s coalition partners in Operation Enduring Freedom, in the International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) which invaded and occupied Afghanistan in 2001? Among NATO countries, Belgium, Canada, Denmark, France, Germany, Italy, Netherlands and Spain. Among non-NATO ones, Australia and Sweden.
They are still there (NATO update Oct 2010).
Do the rulers of these European nations?visionaries of open-faced democracy?have the courage to face up to the facts, as enumerated by Malalai Joya? Hardly. They’d have to face up to other facts then: that the invasion was an obvious breach of international law, having not been authorised by the UN Security Council. That Afghanistan was not involved in the events of 9/11. That if the US government’s account is to be believed, 15 of the 19 alleged hijackers were from Saudi Arabia, so why invade Afghanistan? That the Afghan government did not refuse to extradite Osama bin Laden, their offer was subject to conditions, which was unacceptable to the US administration. That the latter had not only supported the “Islamic terror network,” it was instrumental in installing the Taliban government (1995-96). That the politicians who arranged it, supported it, are liable to be tried as war criminals. And that, is quite a lot of facing up to do.
President Obama has escalated the war in Afghanistan by sending 34,000 more troops; he has extended it to Pakistan by expanding the CIA-led killer drone campaign, because al-Qaeda?who had, according to Bush, committed “faceless” and “cowardly” acts?now operates in the border areas. But drone pilots do not `show’ their face. They are `hidden’ tens of thousands of miles away from the so-called battlefield, `concealed’ behind computer screens and remote audio-feed. There are no means of `identifying’ them personally.

A raid in progress. Afghan women still can't laugh out loud ? Perry Kretz (Der Stern)

Killed by "faceless" Predator drone operators. Dead children can't fly kites either. AFP Getty Images

But we too, would like to see their faces. We would like to see the face that’s doing the killing. Occupying forces are not `welcome’ either. Not on Afghan soil, nor on Iraq’s soil. For they bring with them a `massive attack’ on the rights of women, they make women and children prisoners in their own land. Their veil of rhetoric hides their `intentions.’
But may be `concealment’ is essential so that they can’t prosecuted for murder under the domestic law of the country in which they conduct targeted killings? May be they need to `hide’ their faces to avoid being prosecuted for violations of applicable US law??According to a news report, The Year of the Drone Strike, 2009, netted 5 actual militant leaders, killed 700 innocent civilians. What do these faceless killers teach us, the global public? That no face-saving gestures of European rulers can conceal their complicity in war crimes in Afghanistan (and Iraq)?
Ernest Hemingway had said, We must take away their planes, their automatic weapons, their tanks, their artillery and teach them dignity (For Whom the Bell Tolls). Dignity? Do those who are `subservient’ to America’s military and economic interests, have any?
concluding instalment next week..
Other articles on burqa ban
this one is funny

September 22 is for remembering

Subscribe to ShahidulNews


Daily Mirror


The 4th article of the Dasa Raja Dharma, Lord Buddha?s incomparable treatise on good governance is about Ajjava, i.e. honesty and integrity. The ruler, the Buddha said must be absolutely straightforward and must never employ any crooked means to achieve ends. This week I planned to dwell on this particular aspect of good governance but am compelled to employ the idea to dissect something more specific. I write about honesty and integrity but only in terms of how they relate to the month of September.
I am writing this on September 22, 2010. September 22 is significant for a specific and personal reason. It marks an anniversary. On this day, exactly one year ago, the Daily Mirror published an article by me titled ?Welcome to Sri Lanka Ms. Patricia Butenis?. Ms. Butenis had just assumed duties as the US Ambassador to Sri Lanka. My comment followed a statement she issued to the press subsequent to presenting credentials to President Mahinda Rajapaksa.
She said in that note, ?No country, including the United States, has a perfect record in safeguarding human rights? but said that even while addressing its own shortcomings, the USA has a responsibility to advocate for the rights and freedoms of people worldwide. Ms. Butenis is aware I am sure of the adage that charity begins at home. I expressed in my response to her ?note? the hope that once she recovers from jet-leg, Ms. Butenis would write a lengthy piece informing Sri Lankans about what exactly the USA has been doing by way of addressing shortcomings.
A lot has happened since September 22, 2009. We?ve had Nick Clegg of Britain?s Liberal Democratic Party confessing while acting as Prime Minister that the invasion of Iraq was illegal. We?ve had ?Wikileaks? telling us of the horrendous and systemic perpetration of atrocities by US troops in Afghanistan. We?ve had the US justice system virtually giving a green light to torture of prisoners as long as it happens outside the borders of that country. We?ve had President Barack Obama wanting photographic evidence of excesses perpetrated by US troops in Iraq suppressed in the name of ?national security?. We?ve not had Ms. Butenis saying a word about these things.
Continue reading “September 22 is for remembering”

Photography is Not a Crime

Subscribe to ShahidulNews


Photography is Not a Crime

It?s a First Amendment Right

By Carlos Miller

The Homeland Security Bureau of the Miami-Dade Police Department has published a ?Terrorist Awareness Guide? where it advises citizens to be on the lookout for people taking ?inappropriate photographs or videos.?
And no, they are not talking about perverts shooting?up the skirts of women.
They?re talking about people taking photographs of surveillance cameras and other things that are plainly visible to the naked eye.
Here is an excerpt of what the pamphlet says:

Maybe you are at a National Monument and you
notice a person nearby taking a lot of photos. Not
unusual. But then you notice that he is only taking
photos of t he surveillance cameras, crash barriers at
the entrances, and access control procedures. Is that
normal for a tourist? Absolute not!

The following should cause a heightened sense of

??????? Unusual interest
??????? Surveillance
??????? Inappropriate photographs or videos
??????? Note-taking
??????? Drawing of diagrams
??????? Annotating maps
??????? Using binoculars or night vision devices

It should be noted that Detective Bustamante of the same homeland security bureau was one of the officers who responded to our?first Metrorail incident where we were ?permanently banned? for taking photos.
Bustamante proved pretty clueless of the law when he informed us we needed a permit to photograph anything within the Metrorail, regardless if we were shooting commercial or not.
Read the entire document below. The portion on photography is on the second page in the right-hand column circled in red.
Terrorist Awareness Guide MDPD-PINAC

Flotilla Fabrication

Subscribe to ShahidulNews


?The average person believes implicitly that the photograph cannot falsify. Of course, you and I know that this unbounded faith in the integrity of the photograph is often rudely shaken, for, while photographs may not lie, liars may photograph.?
Lewis Hine 1909
Photographers often get defensive when reminded that many of them resort to ?digital manipulation? using the new tools currently available. Discussions about the limits of what is permissible regularly sparks off heated debates, particularly in contests. Jobs have been lost, awards cancelled, and credibility undermined when photographers have digitally manipulated photographs to create the image they have wanted.
Sadly, the arguments raised have largely dealt with issues of technique rather than issues of ethics. One school of thought suggests, ?if it was doable in a darkroom, then it can be doable in a computer?. Others claim that conventional darkroom techniques, such as dodging, burning, or changing contrast are acceptable, but inserting, taking away, or displacing visual elements are off limits (though these too were, and had been, done in the darkroom). More ?artistic? criteria suggest that the essential ?mood and character? of the original image must be preserved. None of this addresses the central issue Hine had brought up in 1909. Is the photographer lying?
I believe the discussion needs to shift from ?how? the image was altered to ?why? it was altered. Indeed, photographers have ?enhanced? their images by using filters to darken skies, dodged and burned in the darkroom to change relative emphasis of visual elements, sometimes even eliminated visuals that distracted from what was considered central to the photograph. Subtle changes in tonality and gradation altered the ?feel? of an image, affecting the emotional response one might have to the visual experience.? In the analogue days, the skill sets required hand-eye? coordination to a far greater extent than is needed today. The modern photographer needs to learn about pixels, paths and plug-ins. The software used, the amount of RAM and processor speed are the new vocabulary that replaces darkroom tools of yore. But even in the digital age, the skill of the practitioner often determines whether the change is detectable.
There are those who subvert the process and deliberately play on detectability of the process, confronting the viewer with their interventions, questioning her perception of what is acceptable, stretching her boundaries of credibility. Indeed, on occasions, flaunting these very norms to raise uncomfortable issues of how images are read. Early theorists like Professor Fred Ritchin, currently at Tisch School of The Arts, New York University, have eloquently analysed how this ?manipulation?, instead of undermining the credibility of the photograph, has returned the onus of authenticity upon the integrity of the author rather than the acceptability of the tools (human or mechanical).? One believes a photograph, as one believes a word, based on the reliability of the source, rather than the mode of production. The hugely talented pioneer of digital photography, the Mexican photographer Pedro Meyer, playfully, intelligently and skillfully, toyed with us, shaking the pillars of our age old beliefs, forcing us to question the process of seeing and believing.
Of course the photograph still retains the characteristic of being the primary source. ?I was there. I saw it with my own eyes. I have photographs.? It is precisely because the photograph or the video, is seen as an unmoderated fact, that it is so powerful. It is precisely the reason why lying through a video or photograph can be so effective.
In this age of spin, rhetoric and hyperbole, does the liar, by shaking our confidence in the medium, undermine the veracity of the one source that we still implicitly trust? In some ways of course it does, but by doing so, the liar does us a favour. It reminds us to question, not merely the medium but also the source.
Buddha, Moses, Jesus and Mohammed were believed because they were trustworthy. They had established their credibility. They had a track record that gave their word a respectability that others who said otherwise did not have. I have no way to vouch for the veracity of the incredible claims that they made. That is the basis of a very different discussion. But it is undeniably true that centuries after they have gone, there are people who live by their ideals and are prepared to die for them. The lives that they lived, made their words believable. We believed their actions, which led to us believing their words.

That brings me to the point of this article. The video of the attack on the flotilla. People have correctly pointed to the technical errors in the released videos. The fact that there were white frames inside the sequence, that consecutive frames did not match, that crude alterations revealed the manipulation where people are seen to be walking through metal pylons, the amateurish display of a catapult by turning towards a camera on a tripod and holding it high, in the middle of an attack by armed soldiers, the fact that a voice inserted in the video is that of a woman on another ship, all make the video a laughable piece of ?evidence?. Indeed, the detection of the tampering is what is being used as evidence of lies being told.
My argument is elsewhere. What if the Israelis had produced the perfect video, backing up their claims. What if their technicians had been more skilled, their computer animations more realistic, their actors more adept and telling their version of the story. Would that have validated their version of the story? I would like to return to who is telling the story. The veracity of the source.
Lies are more difficult to protect than the truth. If the version they had presented had been genuine, there would have been no need to confiscate all the visual material, releasing selective segments, with obvious tampering. If they had nothing to hide there would have been no need to jam the communications at the moment of attack, or to erase the audio from certain segments of the video. There would have been no reluctance to make all the evidence available and let the viewers decide. Suspicious behavior gives rise to suspicion. For a nation known for manipulating the truth at all levels, casting doubts on authentic data, vilifying honest citizens, persecuting every hint of dissent, it is the fact that the source is Israel that is the greatest reason for disbelief.
If a time were to come when Israel had a change of heart and for once spoke the truth, like Matilda in her burning house, there would be none to believe her. That fire is imminent and Israel?s house of lies might well be close to burning.
Other points of view.

BBC Panorama Video 1

BBC Panorama Video 2

“>Al Jazeera Storming of Gaza aid convoy

Legal assessment of Gaza Flotialla raid
Related links:
Military ties between India and Israel
In Defense of Helen Thomas
Human Rights Council Condemnation of Israeli Attacks
Adopted by a recorded vote of 32 to 3, with 9 abstentions.
The voting was as follows:
In favour: Angola, Argentina, Bahrain, Bangladesh, Bolivia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Brazil, Chile, China, Cuba, Djibouti, Egypt, Gabon, Ghana, India, Indonesia, Jordan, Kyrgyzstan, Mauritius, Mexico, Nicaragua, Nigeria, Norway, Pakistan, Philippines, Qatar, Russian Federation, Saudia Arabia, Senegal, Slovenia, South Africa, Uruguay;
Against: Italy, Netherlands, United States of America;
Abstaining: Belgium, Burkina Faso, France, Hungary, Japan, Republic of Korea, Slovakia, Ukraine, United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland:


Subscribe to ShahidulNews


6 June, 2010 ? MRZine
?Israel does not need enemies: it has itself. Or more precisely: it has its government,? writes The New Republic?s Leon Wieseltier in a bitingly titled column, ?Operation Make the World Hate Us: The Assault on the ?Mavi Marmara? Was Wrong, and a Gift to Israel?s Enemies.?
It?s not just an Israeli government initiative. Operation Make The World Hate Us has another valuable asset ? the Deputy Managing Editor of the Jerusalem Post Caroline Glick, who under the auspices of the US-based Center for Security Policy has just released one of the most gratuitously offensive (and on so many levels, it?s quite remarkable) video creations to afflict the year 2010, ?We Con the World,? which appears to mock the nine dead (or more ? six are still reported as missing) activists killed on the Turkish Mavi Marmara when Israeli Defense Force commandos stormed the boat. According to a British eyewitness interviewed by UK-based The Press Association, 48 people aboard the ship received gunshot wounds.
Two notable organizational patrons of Glick?s video are the Center for Security Policy and Christians United for Israel. Glick?s industrial-strength polemics include claims that there is a ?totalitarian jihadist ideology which is ascendant throughout the Islamic world.? According to the Jewish organization Jews on First, Glick has advocated the unilateral bombing of Iran.

The Center for Security Policy is so proud of Glick?s video it?s up on the organization?s web site front page. Christians United for Israel website also has a front page link to Glick?s inadvertent anti-hasbara masterpiece. The video features, among other lyric elements, the line ?Itbach el Yahud!? (slaughter the Jews!) and claims that children in the Gaza Strip lack ?cheese and missiles? (according to a 2009 UN survey 65% of babies 9-12 months old in Gaza suffer from anemia).
It?s not especially surprising that Caroline Glick was inclined to produce ?We Con the World? given that in 1997 and 1998 she served as assistant foreign policy adviser to Benjamin Netanyahu. What?s astounding is Glick?s obvious pride in associating herself with the video, which features shaky production values, procession of anti-Islamic stereotypes, bad singing, and mockery of the dead. Not only has Glick posted it on her personal website but she acted in the video, which at the end identifies her as Deputy Managing Editor of the Jerusalem Post.
As Caroline Glick Wrote on her blog post concerning her video,
This week at Latma ? the Hebrew-language media satire website I edit, we decided to do something new. We produced a clip in English. There we feature the Turkish-Hamas ?love boat? captain, crew and passengers in a musical explanation of how they con the world.
We think this is an important Israeli contribution to the discussion of recent events and we hope you distribute it far and wide.
All the best,
As described in her Wikipedia bio, Glick?s ?writings have appeared in The Wall Street Journal, the National Review, The Boston Globe, the Chicago Sun-Times, The Washington Times, Maariv and major Jewish newspapers worldwide? and she?s been on ?MSNBC, Fox News Channel, Sky News, the Christian Broadcasting Network, and all of Israel?s major television networks. She also makes frequent radio appearances both in the US and Israel.?
And in her spare time, Glicks?s a video auteur.
Lyrics to ?We Con The World?
There comes a time
when we need to make a show
for the world, the web and CNN
There?s no people dying
so the best that we can do
is create the greatest bluff of all
We must go on, pretending day by day
that in Gaza there?s crisis, hunger and plague
coz the billion bucks in aid won?t buy their basic needs
like some cheese and missiles for the kids.
We?ll make the world abandon reason
we?ll make them all believe
that the Hamas is Momma Theresa
We are peaceful travelers
with guns and our own knives
the truth will never find its way to your TV
Ooooh we?ll stab them at heart
they are soldiers no one cares
we are small and we took some pictures with doves
As Allah has shown us
for facts there?s no demand
so we will always gain the upper hand
We?ll make the world abandon reason
we?ll make them all believe
that the Hamas is Momma Theresa
We are peaceful travelers
we?re waving our own knives
the truth will never find its way to your TV
If Islam and terror brighten up your mood
but you worry that it may not look so good
Well don?t you realize you just gotta call yourself
an activist for peace and human aid
We?ll make the world abandon reason
we?ll make them all believe
that the Hamas is Momma Theresa
We are peaceful travelers
we?re waving our own knives
the truth will never find its way to your TV
We con the world
yallah, let me hear you!
we con the people
We?ll make them all believe the IDF is Jack the Ripper
We are peaceful travelers
we?re waving our own knives
the truth will never find its way to your TV
Itbach el Yahud ! (slaughter the Jews)
We con the world
we con the people
We?ll make them all believe the IDF is Jack the Ripper
All together now!
We are peaceful travelers
we?re waving our own knives
the truth will never find its way to your TV
We con the world
yallah, let me hear you!
we con the people
We?ll make them all believe the IDF is Jack the Ripper
We are peaceful travelers
we?re waving our own knives
the truth will never find its way to your TV
This article was first published in the AlterNet blog on 4 June 2010; it is reproduced here for non-profit educational purposes. According to Ayman Mohyeldin, this video was ? ?inadvertently? ? ?distributed [to journalists] on Friday by the Israeli government press office (which belongs to the Israeli prime minister?s office and is responsible for accrediting foreign journalists)? (emphasis added, ?Israeli Government?s Media Madness,? The Middle East Blog, Al Jazeera, 4 June 2010).

Reuters under fire for removing weapons, blood from images of Gaza flotilla

Dreaming of Tamil Eelam

Any news? I had asked the intermediary, after the fall of Kilinochchi. ?I fear the worst? was the short reply.

?We had never met. It was always through the intermediary that she approached me. Image files encrypted layers deep in ?less likely to be searched? laptops were passed on. Endless conversations about her, without her ever being present. Photographs, letters, and at a later stage films, are all that remain with me.


Sniper?LTTE sniper.?? Drik/Majority World


?Theepa* was a commander in the LTTE. I knew her as a photographer. In a letter to me, translated by the intermediary, she had written. ?Even after an artist?s death art lives. After death it will be so. I have that small belief.? She took photographs of conflict, of death, but there were also those tender moments, of women doing each other?s hair in the bunker. Footsteps in the sand, idyllic sunsets. This was a part of Kilinochchi daily life I had never seen.

hair care? Drik/Majority World

There are those who mourn for Prabhakaran. Those who gloat at his death. Leaders are vilified, deified, mummified, bought, sold, traded. But they are the ones remembered. The foot soldiers, who have less to gain and far more to lose, are oft forgotten. She lived an extra ordinary life in the hope her people could live ordinary ones.

Sunset? Drik/Majority World

Theepa* had wanted to study at Pathshala, the photography school that we ran. The LTTE had a well-developed media campaign. Even in the early days, Prabhakaran?s hunger strike in Chennai in 1986, had been for the immediate return of ? not his rocket launchers, SAM missiles and AK-47s ? but his lifeline to the world, his wireless sets.

The ?Big Boss? knew the value of having a good photographer. So when her intermediary sent me this message ?She told me last night that the ‘Big Boss’ here is very happy with the way things are unfolding for her concerning the magazine articles and Chobi Mela etc. etc.? He has just bought her a Canon D1 Mark II as a gift and is willing to set her ‘free’ in January 2008,? I was elated.?

She had submitted work for Chobi Mela IV. We had hung the work at Shilpakala Academy, the academy of fine and performing arts. Later it showed in the Brussels Biennial. I had sent her photo magazines, the Drik brochure and the Chobi Mela IV catalogue. Big boss had requested an extra one for himself. Her photography was changing, she was having a go at ?art photography? dabbling in film. Some of the films she sent were very well made. It was in the genre of the early German and Russian propaganda films. Her?s were in colour with well mixed music, smooth tracking and fast cuts. I pondered on the propaganda, but delighted in her new skills. And then the communication stopped. Things had changed by January 2008.?

In her writing I appeared as an elder brother, a teacher. anna and aasiriyar. She was my little sister thangai. While she appreciated me helping her with her photography, it was my refusal to pre-judge her that formed the basis of our bonding. As I wrote about her to Rahnuma, my partner, I realised I was weeping. Tears for a little sister I had never met. Fondness for a student I had never encountered. Rahnuma too shed tears at the other end of the chat line. She had only known her thangai through me. This unseen, unknown, untouched little sister who had entered our lives. I had nominated her for awards where she had been turned down because she was a terrorist. I remember how in 1971, when that word had not yet become fashionable, the Pakistani media called us ?miscreants?.

Shanika and Shahidul at TellawatiShanika and Shahidul ? Chulie de Silva

She longed to see me, but warned me against going to Kilinochchi. It was too dangerous. I remembered another Sri Lankan girl, another thangai, whom I?d met after the tsunami. Shanika had lost her mother and her three sisters to the sea, and warned me to stay away from the water. Theepa remembered a mob killing six of her family in 1983. Kilinochchi was the sea, she wanted to shield me from. I the anna, remember my two little thangais, one Sinhalese, one Tamil, who both wanted to shelter me from harm.

She was a fighter who had wanted to be an artist. A worker who wanted to be a poet. She was prepared to die, but longed to live.

She, like so many others who have been oppressed, will forever yearn for freedom. Until another?s prosperity gives one joy; until another?s sorrow gives one pain; until the betterment of another becomes one?s concern; until one is liberated by another?s freedom; victory over another, will be a defeat for oneself.

I talk of her in the past, but against my better judgement, I believe she may be alive. Perhaps in a rehabilitation camp with other fighters. In her letter she had said, ?I hope that if our liberation war lets me live then I would love to meet you.?

Wherever she may be, I know we will meet. Together we?ll explore photography.


*Not her real name